• 12.09.16

Magic Leap appears to be a long way off from reality

The augmented reality company whose gotten investment from tech heavyweights including Google, appears to still be years away from shipping an actual AR product—and what they have in the labs now appears to be inferior to the tech they’ve been claiming, reports the Information. Among the findings of the Information’s look into the company:

• It appears the demo video Magic Leap released earlier this year, which purported to show employees using the tech to play an augmented reality FPS in the office, was created entirely using special effects. While the video always had the logo of the visual effects studio Weta Workshop on it, it was previously believed the studio made the graphics for the game and not the video itself

• The Information says the misleading “product demo” was used to recruit engineers

• The Information did receive a product demo of Magic Leap’s tech as it is now and they say it is greatly inferior to AR tech that Microsoft is putting out with its HoloLens development kit, noting that images produced by it are more jittery and blurrier than those produced by the HoloLens

• The main bottleneck in Magic Leap’s tech appears to do with the company’s fiber scanning display. This display shines a laser through a fiber optic cable that draws images out of light by rapidly moving back and forth. Apparently, Magic Leap has not been able to get the fiber scanning display to work. Magic Leap had hoped the technology would allow it to shrink the hardware down small enough to wear as glasses, untethered from a computer—but that now appears to be a goal that is still far off.